Washington D.C., Jul 28, 2007 (CNA) - Fr. Frank Pavone, the head of the pro-life religious order, Priests for Life, has issued a stinging rebuke to some Christian pastors who have tried to silence pro-life protestors.
Fr. Pavone was particularly upset about an event that happened in Birmingham, Alabama.
"The Birmingham News carried a story on Thursday wherein some local pastors said that pro-life activists who held events on public sidewalks near their Churches 'did not have permission' to hold the events.
"Excuse me, pastors, but they don't need your permission.
"In America, the public sidewalks are a forum in which any citizen can communicate to any other citizen what is on his or her mind. The 'permission' has been granted by our Founding Fathers and it's called the First Amendment to the Constitution.
"This permission holds even when the public sidewalk happens to be in front of a Church. Every pastor in every denomination has a duty to understand this clearly and to respect the rights of every citizen to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly."